The Best Web Hosting for Small Business
In the last blog The Small Business Website are they still relevant?
the conclusion was a resounding Yes, not only are they still relevant but absolutely necessary for small businesses to increase their market share.
So continuing on from there it is worthwhile taking a look at website hosting and what is the Best Web Hosting provider for a small business.
Web Hosting Choices
There are a number of criteria to look at when deciding on a web hosting company but the decision is an important one.
Your Web Hosting company can make or break your website.
There are so many hosting providers out there that the choice becomes difficult - how does one choose? Who can I trust with my website? What features should I be looking for?
White Label Hosting
Let's start with my pet dislike. Web design companies who offer their 'own' hosting plans.
You engage with a website developer who, in addition to building your site also offers to host it and who gives a number of attractive reasons why you should go with him. Fact of the matter is, if your website developer is running his/her own servers (unlikely) then there is no way they can compete with a professional provider for performance, security, anti-spam, SSL certificates etc.
In fact, normally this 'hosting' is actually provided by a major hosting company and 'white labelled' to appear to belong to your web designer.
I find this dishonest and you may find that the hosting is in fact more expensive than you can get normally.
How to Choose the Best Web Hosting Provider
There are a number of criteria that need to be examined before deciding on a web hosting company. The decision you make though is an important one.
A web hosting company can make or break your website!
Things to consider before signing up...
Uptime - What is their claimed uptime for their servers? You can check out https://www.hrank.com/ for uptime stats.
Performance - If your website isn't running fast, neither is your business! There are sites where you can check out benchmarks for web hosting performance such as http://www.webhosting-performance.com for server performance.
cPanel - Your web hosting provider should provide you with a full-blown cPanel which allows you to fully control and manage files, ftp, databases, email, security etc etc etc.
Hosting Plan - What does the hosting plan give you? How much disk space, bandwidth? How many sites can you host, how many domains can you run?
Cost - There are significant variances in cost for web hosting from the free (not recommended) through to expensive. Most web hosting providers offer plans which allow for discount rates for 1-3 years. Cost, though important should NOT be the deciding factor in choosing a web hosting provider. The actual cost of running a website is relatively trivial in the scheme of things.
SSL - Every website needs to be running https.In the past there was quite a large charge for SSL certificates but now most decent hosting companies offer them for free. Google expects to see https and if it doesn't your rankings will suffer terribly.
The Main Contenders
Looking through the mass of articles related to Best Web Hosting, the authors tend to stick to much the same list of providers namely (and in no order..)
But in all honesty, from a choice point of view they are all much the same. I have used several companies and had issues with most of them.
The Deciding Factor
There is one factor that cements the decision (for me anyway) as to the Best Web Hosting provider and that is Technical Support.
Running a website is inevitably going to lead to challenges of a technical nature. Whether it be setting up SSL, moving web sites, upgrading websites, backing up and restoring, broken websites! Whatever the issue you need to be able to pick up the phone or go into chat and discuss the issue within minutes.
More than the response times of the tech support, you actually need to discuss the issue with someone who knows WordPress or Joomla and their servers intimately. Someone who has seen it all before and is a technical guru when it comes to solving complex issues.
When it comes down to responding to issues and the knowledge to fix issues there is only one hosting company that comes close and that company is SiteGround
They may not be the cheapest (they aren't!), they may not have the fastest benchmark times (they are improving) but when it comes down to having a broken website or a website with major issues they are the best.
As I said at the beginning, your hosting company can make or break your website and it is completely true. Horrible experiences with other hosting companies have led me to use SiteGround explicitly because when issues surpass my technical knowledge I know where to not only get answers, but get them fast.
No Waiting on-hold, no queuing for hours to get into a chat session, these folks are right there when you need them!
So, if you need hosting follow this link and I can get a credit!